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Thursday, June 5, 2014

PARDON ME! Written and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. Simon & Schuster, 2014. $19.99 ages 4 and up

"Pardon me.


You can tell by the look on his face that this little yellow bird has some strong opinions about what is happening in his world right now, can't you? You might even have the sense that he is a bird with an attitude. You would be RIGHT!

The genteel look of a pond greets us as we open the cover to discover cool blue endpapers with graceful waving reeds and a dragonfly dipping in the still waters. The title page shows a brightly plumed bird preparing for a landing. The clouds are fluffy, the water still and darkness is descending.

Ah, the landing is a success, the bird sits in silence on a tiny isle of tranquility. The feeling lasts through the second full page spread; but, the perspective changes. Instead of a horizontal view of his perch, we are now looking from above...perhaps a harbinger for the coming action. Take careful note of the dark shadow!

An egret lands with a polite 'pardon me'. The 'grumpy' is quick to respond nastily...'well, I suppose I can't stop you.' The tone is set, and the hilarity begins. Next comes a frog, then a turtle...each met with disdain. A fox looks on, and wants to offer an observation! It proves a bit much for the tiny bird, who responds with all the built-up anger he has been feeling, and the power of a loud and cranky voice.

His tirade works. He now has his space all to himself. The darkness deepens, the bird siestas and only the audience can see the reason for the fox's warning. Too late, the parrot realizes his mistake! The story is politeness plus right up until the final surprise!

The art is stunning, filled with diffused light and wonderful perspective for readers. I can't wait to share it!

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